my stylish french girlfriend – béatrice

by Sharon Santoni


If I had to pick three words to describe my friend Béatrice Augier, they would have to be ‘free. strong. & creative’.

woman taking a picture on the beach

She has travelled the world, she is self-made, she knows what she wants … and what she doesn’t … she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she is very good company.    We first met at a lively and amusing dinner in the south of France, but as she lives in a beautiful town house on the Atlantic coast of Normandy, we are actually not that far apart.


When I drove to meet her for our photos last week, we were on the beach by seven am, talking non-stop.  The morning sped by as we took our cameras into town, to her home and out to lunch.  I don’t think we stopped talking for a minute.


Béatrice is a strong woman who has always  led her life according to  her own rules, and never been afraid to pick the unexpected route.   She firmly believes in the importance of pushing the boundaries, of testing yourself and daring to go against the grain.

At the tender age of twenty, she got her first job with the press service to Yves Saint Laurent.  Two years later, she understood  that she had a fantastic job, but that it was becoming too comfortable and that if she stayed there she risked spending her life in the same workplace rather than getting out to discover the wider world.  Against the advice of those around her she handed in her notice.

houses in deauville normandy

Her professional path has been diverse but never boring.  With a training in communication, she has had restaurants, worked for Dior, worked for Publicis in Paris, and for a long time she held down a  fantastic job handling public relations for Cartier.    The job at Cartier was prestigious; exciting times of unlimited budgets and a creative buzz that made anything possible.  But here again, she was afraid of the predictable,  the too-comfortable that would make her forget her longing to travel,  to discover, to challenge herself to go the extra mile.

the town hall in deauville

When she left Cartier she was already married to Philippe, who happens to be the Mayor of the chic seaside town of Deauville.   Whatever her new occupation was to be, it had to be based in Deauville.  She started dealing in antiques and brocante.  This went well, and before long she was advising clients on how to furnish their homes.  Within a couple of years she had her own highly successful interior design company, with an adjacent art gallery.


She designed and furnished homes in Normandy, Paris and abroad.  Her jet-setting clients were drawn by her rich colours and ability to create a cosy yet chic atmosphere.   Her own home is  a tribute to her style.   Colourful and richly furnished, the stylish town-house with a charming little garden is within walking distance of the beach and the town centre.


Béatrice’s address books is impressive.  People are attracted to this intelligent, friendly  energetic woman.  Approaching an age when many would be thinking about retirement, Beatrice is playing tennis every day; hitting the beach with her camera early in the morning; painting huge canvases and happily supporting her husband in his official role as Mayor to a town that has already held a G7 conference, and which each year hosts the American Film Festival.

actors names on barriers in deauville

Although Deauville is a small town, it has traditionally been the ocean-side playground for Parisians who like to get out to the country without forgoing their chic shopping, good hotels and restaurants.   There is an air of glamour to Deauville and great efforts are made to preserve the architecture and quality of life in the town.   Whether it’s precious stones; the perfect handbag or the latest fashion, all the big names are here, just a stone’s throw from the beach.


As wife to the Mayor, Béatrice is often at the forefront for high profile events in town.  Be it hosting the American Ambassador;  welcoming the stars to the film festival or assisting with a political summit.   Philippe knows he can count on Béatrice to fit the part in any situation.



There is a palpable hunger for life in everything Béatrice does.    She is a great listener, and always curious to understand the people around her.   She travels frequently.   Sometimes for work, sometimes for leisure, and sometimes simply because she has read about a beautiful hotel and wants to check it out.   She never forgets to pack her camera and publishes her travel photos in a series of books for her own record.   She especially loves to take portrait photos, and assembles them by theme:   women in Burma; families on the beach; and more recently portraits of visitors to the Paris Fashion Week.

As well as taking photos, Béatrice also paints.   At the moment she is creating huge oil paintings of flowers.  Some she keeps for herself and some she sells, as single paintings or in pairs or groups.


  It is a privilege for me to know this energetic and strong woman, who once again reminds us of the importance of creating every day; of making every moment count and of opening ourselves up to the world.

If you would like to see what Béatrice gets up to then you can follow her on instagram, right here.    If you are interested in purchasing one of her paintings, then the best thing is to email her directly just here, or if you prefer you can contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

I hope you enjoyed meeting My Stylish French Girlfriend Béatrice.   If you want to see more of my friends, then you are welcome to take a look here.  And quite soon I’ll be telling you how you can pre-order my book about many other of the Stylish French women that I am proud to count as my friends.


Beatrice Augier on Instagram





suzanna April 13, 2015 - 2:14 am

Oh Sharon, I absolutely adore this post today! So fabulous and the pictures are heavenly of this beautiful cozy town of Deauville! I am speechless reading your blogs daily. Sharon, I adore your shares here sending my mind into heaven and my imagination! merci ~ XO

Teresa Pepler April 15, 2015 - 9:04 pm

Lovely garden and I love the paintings! Soul food having such a special friend!

Patricia Knight July 23, 2015 - 1:33 pm

Thank you I love your friend, your pictures, your home, your emails, your life in France! You are living my dream.

Marie Geue April 13, 2015 - 2:15 am

What an absolutely inspiring lady, she has obviously made the most of every moment of her life, wonderful to read and how fortunate are you to have such a warm, colourful friend. Marie

Marjo April 13, 2015 - 2:22 am

Amazing, beautiful, breathtaking.

carol Jane April 13, 2015 - 2:59 am

Wow. What a beautiful and talented. Lady. Wish I could be like her. Those paintings. Stunning.

Vicky from Athens April 13, 2015 - 3:36 am

Wow! What an extraordinary woman! Deauville is a gorgeous town I’d love to go back to and stay a week! We passed through it on our way to Honfleur and I loved what I saw!! Beatrice sounds like an amazing person.

Katherine April 13, 2015 - 5:58 am

Beatrice is incredibly brave. Closing doors on successful positions opened the possibilities for new adventures, not many people have the courage to move on when they are comfortable. She made the most of it all, and is obviously fearless and talented.

Great story!

Doré @ Burlap Luxe April 13, 2015 - 7:19 am

Sharon, what a wonderful friend, one you can indulge yourself in exciting conversation and a friend you can be intouch with the love of being behind the camera.
What a beautiful town and the shopping looks divine. I was most interested in her home and French designs colourfull yet in A subtle way. Her paintings are amazing I could see the dark one in my home anchoring the wall of lightness. She is a very interesting lady and to be able to call her firend I am sure makes her that much more special to you.

Thank you for sharing her history.
Beauty to the days ahead of you.



Our French Oasis April 13, 2015 - 9:58 am

What a fabulously inspirational piece. As a love of bright colours and fabrics I just loved the parts you showed of her house, the perfect drawing room.

Sherry April 13, 2015 - 10:17 am

Sharon, thank you for sharing your friend Beatrice and her beautiful surroundings with us, what a joy…simply lovely!

stacey snacks April 13, 2015 - 4:02 pm

I really need a new set of friends!!!!!!


Laura Dronne April 13, 2015 - 4:04 pm

I had the chance to meet this wonderful woman at a photography contest organised by the town of Deauville and, even if we only exchanged a few words, I am glad I had this chance.
She is everything a young girl like me could wish to be.
She truly is an inspiration.

ann hodgkins April 13, 2015 - 4:18 pm

How fortunate you are to have a friend like Beatrice.Her talents are many.I love your pictures of Deauville.I have been to Honfleur,Arromanches, and the surrounding area.Deauville is definitely on my wish list of places to visit and stay for a while.The houses,gardens, and the beach are inspirational. A wonderful start to the day! Thank you for the posts.

suzanna April 13, 2015 - 4:19 pm

Hi Sharon, I was reading your comments, Stacy, you are hilarious. I felt the same way. I almost got anxiety reading all these women’s dream lives and I feel so paralyzed over here in the USA. Having a financial back up is a dream. Stacy you are so funny! I feel the same….shall we meet! LOL……

Susan April 17, 2015 - 1:12 pm

Suzanna and Stacey,
I laughed and strongly related to your posts…if you should actually meet I wouldn’t want to intrude but…I do think something would be strangely amiss if I were not present!!! Isn’t is wonderful to know women with a sense of humor .
My best to each of you!

P.S. Could it be the “S” for stupendous 🙂

Agnes Irene April 13, 2015 - 4:54 pm

Thank you, Sharon! I love reading about women who really embrace and celebrate life. Beatrice is truly an amazing and inspiring woman – what a great role model.

Jeanne McKay Hartmann April 13, 2015 - 5:31 pm

Sharon, I am feeling so much more inspired and energized after reading about the astounding Béatrice – thank you so much for introducing us to her. Her story has done more to motivate me this morning than any amount of espresso could. Her confidence radiates out of your words and makes me want to live large and leave fear behind somewhere on the beach. Oh, and I’ve just added Deauville to my long list of places to visit in France. Thank you for bringing these beautiful women into our lives. I cannot wait for your amazing book! XOXO

Karena April 13, 2015 - 5:49 pm

Sharon thank you for this introduction to your amazing friend Beatrice. She is a wonder, so artistic, brilliant in her design and antiques business, a world traveler. Fascinating in her complex personality. Also what an enchanting village to live in with her successful husband!

The Arts by Karena

Simonne l'hermitte April 13, 2015 - 7:45 pm

Bravo, Beatrice is really a stuning lady, living in Deauville too, so proud of her and her husband Philippe!

Caroline Benaim April 13, 2015 - 7:54 pm

Je confirme!!! Béatrice a une personalité fantastique, nous nous sommes connues il y a fort longtemps, j’ai toujours suivi ce qu’elle faisaitt, je ne l’ai jamais oublié. je ne souhaite qu’une chose : la revoir et rire encore comme nous avons ri dans notre passé qui n’est pas si loin tant nous restons jeunes et battantes….
Love Beatrice

Caroline Benaim April 13, 2015 - 7:54 pm

Je confirme!!! Béatrice a une personalité fantastique, nous nous sommes connues il y a fort longtemps, j’ai toujours suivi ce qu’elle faisaitt, je ne l’ai jamais oublié. je ne souhaite qu’une chose : la revoir et rire encore comme nous avons ri dans notre passé qui n’est pas si loin tant nous restons jeunes et battantes….
Love Beatrice

Barbara B April 13, 2015 - 11:03 pm

Absolutely Awe Inspiring! Beautiful tribute to your especially gifted friend, Beatrice!! Love the paintings!

Sally April 13, 2015 - 11:46 pm

You are indeed privileged to have an inspiring friend. Beatrice is a great model for all women.

Scribbler April 14, 2015 - 12:32 am

I think I want to be her when I grow up.

Esther George April 14, 2015 - 5:15 am

Hi Sharon, what beautiful photographs and an inspiring blog, you girls must have some amazing conversations. Thank you for sharing beauty. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS the weather has been wonderful after the rains..Magpies are landing in the garden looking for poor Lizards for lunch and Australian Miner birds are having a swim in the bird bath my husband changes the water nearly every day otherwise they start complaining (loudly) …Kodak moments.

Mary W. Ferguson April 15, 2015 - 2:44 am

Oh Sharon, what an interesting woman. Thank you for sharing her with us in your post.
She certainly has led an interesting life and I can see why you are drawn to her. What a wonderful friendship.

RS Gold April 17, 2015 - 7:10 am

This site is great! Thank you for sharing this article to us! good luck!

Susan April 17, 2015 - 1:27 pm

I thank you so much for sharing your friend, Beatrice. You brightened my day before I’m out of bed ( 6:16 am in Kansas, USA). I feel enriched not only with your story of such a wonderful woman…but also with your own joyful song of embracing your friend and celebrating both of you! Just wonderful!

Parisbreakfast April 20, 2015 - 7:17 am

What an inspiration is Beatrice!
Such terrific energy and I love her bold and beautiful paintings.


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